Second-year linebacker DeAndre Levy hasn’t stepped onto the field since Week 3 at Minnesota (9/26), watching from the sidelines with a groin injury.
Today, with a bonus practice following Detroit’s Bye Week, Levy got the opportunity to get back on the practice field.
Levy: “It’s refreshing. You just keep waiting and waiting, and it tests your patience a lot; getting out there you don’t want to lose a step, but I don’t think I lost too much as far as mentally and everything else, but I mean it feels good to be out there and just be doing something football related on the field.”
While the process has been frustrating for the middle linebacker, the experience of getting a “coaches view” of the defense has given him a different aspect of the game.
Levy: “It’s definitely a different perspective you have when you’re not on the field. You’re able to see the breakdowns and you see the things that we need to do as players to correct them. When you’re in the midst of it, sometimes you get lost in it, trying to focus on your job, but sitting back and seeing everything as a whole, you see what went wrong and why it went wrong.”
Another thing that Levy has had to watch while sidelined is the rotation at the middle linebacker spot.
The middle linebacker serves as the “quarterback of the defense” and not having that consistency at the position has been difficult, but also has had it’s advantages from a player standpoint.
Levy: “It has been (difficult). We haven’t had a consistent group, or a consistent guy in one position for an extended period of time. On the flip side of that, it gives guys the opportunity to learn different positions and understand the defense better as a whole, which I think coming in everybody didn’t do that. It was kind of like, ‘This is my job, so I know what to do,’ but now, being thrown into that position, you need to learn the ins and outs of each spot that you’re in.”
With three days left to practice leading up to the Washington game at home, Levy is looking forward to continuing his progression and getting back onto the field.
Levy: “I just get back into the vibe with everybody else on the defense, being in the huddle and what not. That will come along with more reps and the longer that I’m out there. Hopefully I can just keep progressing and finish out the season strong. It’s been incredibly frustrating, but when you get out there, you just forget about all that. You just want to get out there and have fun and enjoy your job.”
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